Tuesday, May 26, 2009

God's Love We Deliver

Last week I was in NYC. I took a cab from the Newark airport to my friend's place in Chelsea. As I was cruising along, I saw a big sign on a mission that said, "God's Love We Deliver."

I started thinking about this sign and what it meant. A lot of people in this world give 'lip service' to being 'religious' or 'spiritual.' This sign made me think about the old saying, "The proof is in the pudding." People saying they are 'religious' or 'spiritual' means nothing to me. This sign helped me remember that what we say about our faith or our 'religion' doesn't matter nearly as much as what we actually do and how we treat other people.

I've had personal encounters with people who claim to be 'religious' and turn around and treat people dishonestly and abusively. Likewise, people who claim to be devout Christians, and yet lash out to deliberately hurt other people when they themselves feel pain. This, of course, violates the most basic teachings of Christ.

Too many people in this world use their religious affiliation as a 'cloak' to hide behind. They claim some religious 'status' simply because they they go to church or worship every week, but don't actually practice the deeper, authentic aspects of their faith. In fact, often times, their behavior is in direct contradiction to the faith they presume to have. Words are empty. Faith without works is dead. This type of hypocrisy permeates our modern world. It hurts us all.

I'd rather see someone claim no religion and treat other people with respect, kindness and compassion. A Muslim friend of mine once said, "Look at how someone treats people... THAT is the true religion." I couldn't agree more.

Going through the motions, praying a certain way, attending worship services regularly means nothing if you don't treat other people with respect and compassion.

Let's actually put whatever our faith is into loving, compassionate service. Our lives will be much more fulfilling and our world will be a better place! Do we deliver God's love as we move through our lives? What a world we would have if we all did actually 'deliver!'